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Production

It Takes Two

Company

Dream Academy

Reviewer

Nadia Bte Ibrahim

Date

05/05/2005

Time

8.00pm

Place

Victoria Theatre

Rating

****

Just Him and Her

"Count on me, Singapore. Count on me to place my bet and more." That was Selena Tan and Hossan Leong's own rendition of the popular National Day song, in light of the government's decision to build "Integrated Resorts" (aka casinos) in Singapore. Their cheeky rendition of this song was just one of the many delightful segments of the musical stand-up comedy show, It Takes Two, which was shown at Victoria Theatre.

There were three parts to It Takes Two and the transitions from one part to another were smooth and easy to follow. In the first part, both Tan and Leong, dressed in matching glittery outfits, were onstage together. The second part saw solo performances by the two actors, and finally the duo was reunited on stage to deliver a fine ending. The set was simple - a couch in the middle of the stage and a piano on the left side. This gave the set a homely feel, creating the perfect atmosphere for the duo's brand of light-hearted humour as they examined numerous issues, ranging from the casino debate to the gender divide, to the Singaporean lifestyle, Singapore Idol and many of their own life experiences.

As soon as the comedy began, one understood why Tan and Leong made a fantastic pair. Both played different but complementary roles throughout the performance. For the most part, Tan would wittily describe various scenarios while Leong, whose flexibility and physical skill allowed him to do almost anything, would act out what she was saying, sending the audience into fits of laughter. They also got a lot of mileage out of teasing each other: there were exchanges of fat and short jokes, and also some hilarious role playing as the duo stepped into the shoes of famous duos from entertainment history, such as Donny and Marie Osmond and Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy (no prizes for guessing who played which part).

The pair also provided their take on men and women other than themselves, once again reinforcing the saying that men are from Mars and women are from Venus. One may expect that by now, stereotypical jokes about men and women would be greeted with jaded silence, but the pair pulled it off as they delivered them in a way that was refreshing and hard to resist.

Tan, revealing a woman's perspective on men and sex, had the women in the audience nodding their heads in agreement as she complained of men's inability to multitask, hence resulting in women's dissatisfaction in bed because the two erogenous zones located at the extreme ends of the female body never receive the same attention. Her wild hand gestures to illustrate this had some members of the audience laughing uncontrollably. She also helpfully provided a set of criteria for couples intending to get married. Her amusing appeal to all potential wives to visualise, "audiolise" and "smellilise" a scene where husband and wife are in the toilet together achieved the desired effect thanks to some great comic timing.

Naturally, when Leong's turn came for a solo act, he voiced his lack of understanding of the opposite sex, and elicited murmurs of agreement when he asked why women always had to go to the toilet in huge groups.

Capturing and sustaining the audience's attention is especially important in a comedy show and both Tan and Leong did a great job of it. For instance, when a few people came in late, Tan took the opportunity to tease them as they strolled into the theatre, playfully telling them that they had missed the best part of the show. And song and dance also helped keep the interest levels high: Leong's talent as a pianist coupled with Tan's clear and melodious voice both enchanted and impressed the audience.

The show was distinctively Singaporean in style. Different dialects were spoken and habits and mannerisms familiar only to locals were also exposed. Though this may have appealed to the majority, there were some non-Singaporeans in the audience who probably had no clue what was going on during certain parts of the show. Nonetheless, It Takes Two was a huge success. The two performers had great chemistry on stage and their roles complemented each other, ensuring that every punchline was delivered on target. They managed to turn a lazy Thursday evening into one full of fun and laughter.


"The two performers had great chemistry on stage and their roles complemented each other, ensuring that every punchline was delivered on target. They managed to turn a lazy Thursday evening into one full of fun and laughter"

Credits

Creator/Playwright: Selena Tan

Producer: Seow Sher Yen

Actor: Selena Tan

Actor/Pianist: Hossan Leong

Stage Manager: Jean Chua

Sound Engineer: Shah Tahir

Lighting Designer: Yo Shao Ann

Lighting Op.: Jeremy Tang

Asst. Stage Manger: Eunice Lim

Dressers: Emily Lim and Nurraidah Bte Noor

More Reviews by Nadia Bte Ibrahim

Ratings out of 5, based on Practitioner's Vision / Reviewer's Response: ***** = Transcendent / Rapturous;
**** = Crystal / Appreciative; *** = Transmitted / Thoughtful; ** = Vague / Unsatisfied; * = Uncommunicated / Mystified.